Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and Salam 1Malaysia.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Walillah hil Hamd.
Alhamdulillah, after a performing a monumental jihad against our earthly desires, we have arrived at the moment of victory this holy Aidilfitri. Certainly, Muslims in Malaysia have plenty of reasons to be thankful. A primary reason is for our good fortune in ushering in the Hari Raya in peace and prosperity. We are free of war, conflict, oppression and even natural disasters, unlike how some of our brothers and sisters of faith live in many parts of the world.
Hence, as a grateful people, we must thank the founding fathers of this country who have laid a firm foundation for the successes of Malaysia today. Our thanks also go out to the security forces who laid their lives on the line to defend our freedom and sovereignty from decades past until present. Not forgetting the civil servants, teachers, workers, farmers, entrepreneurs and fishermen. All your work and sacrifices became the basis and platform for what we now enjoy together.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is a fact that Malaysia is a democratic nation and a plural society of multi-religious, multi-ethnic people with Muslims comprising the majority. For over the last five decades, although this country has seen the highs and lows of ethnic relations, we have weathered each challenge admirably, including the tragedy of May 13. The question is: what is the formula that has empowered us to successfully face these national trials?
The answer lies in the fact that we, as Muslims in Malaysia, have observed the wasatiyyah approach or moderation in a life of spirituality since Islam first set root in this region, in keeping with the decree by Allah SWT in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 143:
“And thus we have made you, true Muslims, a just community that you will be witness over the people and the Messenger (Muhammad) will be a witness over you.”
This wasatiyyah approach has resulted in Malaysia’s emergence as among the most developed Islamic nations in the world. It has positioned the people and the nation on the true path, heading towards a developed Islamic nation status with a high income by the year 2020.
We must also be wary of falling prey to a culture of extremism or backwardness. If we provide a space or allow such symptoms to flourish, we would be sowing the seeds of destruction that will undo what we have built for so long.
In short, as the majority, Muslims have a moral obligation to carry out the will of the country’s leadership. This is an onus we cannot from which we cannot run. It compels us to develop a sense of resolve, largesse and tranquility. In fact, we have been able to perform this duty in the best possible way since Merdeka and each generation must continue to progressively uphold this moral obligation.
Sadly, carried too far by zeal and anger, Islam today has become grossly misunderstood. False assumptions and speculations have become commonplace such as Islam as the religion of terrorists, of backwardness and regression. The reality is that the true teachings of Islam are far different from these images and conjectures. Islam is in fact a very progressive and tolerant religion. It is universal in essence, and furthermore, the Islamic lifestyle is suited to human nature and pertinent in any period or situation.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
From Merdeka, the country’s leadership has recognised that national unity and stability are key pre-conditions to the survival and well-being of the nation. National unity would not be sustainable and far-reaching unless it is centered around a steady and united Muslim ummah. When Muslims are unable to reach a consensus in the basic matters of religion, and indulge in endless polemics and destructive behaviour, the goal of national stability becomes unattainable. Moving forward let us carry out our responsibility to contribute to the reinforcement of national unity.
Let us uphold the tradition of open houses that we have practiced for so long. Tear down the walls of biasness and eliminate prejudice by opening wide the doors to our home and our hearts for our friends of perse ethnicity and religion on this blessed day. Clearly, it is an exclusive and unique Malaysian tradition that does not seen anywhere else in the world, where friends of all ethnic and religious backgrounds can visit us without any obstacles or concern.
With that in mind, I take this opportunity to seek forgiveness on my behalf and for my wife and family, for any shortcomings or mistakes. I pray to Allah SWT that all Muslims will be able to celebrate this day in joyousness and gratitude among their loved ones.
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Walillah hil Hamd.
Wabillahi Taufiq Walhidayah, Wassalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and thank you.